So you’re investing in a new website for your financial firm? Apart from making sure it looks great and functions well, how do you make sure it gets the best possible traction in Google Search – via SEO (search engine optimisation)?
Of course, most financial SEO occurs after website launch. Month-by-month, your website needs fresh, relevant content as well as increasing backlinks and continuous on-site improvements. However, just like a building needs strong foundations to rest upon, your financial SEO rests on having a well-designed website with the right configurations.
In this guide, we share some of the main SEO foundations needed for a financial website in 2022. We hope you find this helpful. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your firm’s financial SEO strategy over a free, no-commitment online consultation.
Choose a strong domain name
Once you launch a new financial website, it can be very detrimental to your SEO if you switch domain names down the line. Much of the “domain authority” you build up is lost when you do this, and when you get a new domain you essentially start your SEO again.
As such, make sure you pick a good domain name from the outset. This should not only look professional and resonate with your branding, but it may to perform extra-well if it contains one of your main target keywords (although this is not essential).
Invest in excellent hosting
As a recurring monthly costs, it can be tempting to cut corners with your website hosting. However, poor-quality hosting is likely to slow your website down, limit the amount of content you can publish there and lead to other performance issues.
In 2022, website speed is a crucial factor when search engines decide how to organise their search listings. All things being equal, if your rival has a faster overall page speed compared to your website, then their website is likely to appear higher in search results.
Bear in mind that most users will not wait more than three seconds for your website to load.
Make sure you don’t make people wait too long!
Integrate Google Search Console
Previously called Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console (GSC) is a near-essential tool that you should plug into your financial website from the very beginning. It is free, and it will tell you crucial information such as page speed issues.
GSC can also inform you about pages on your website that are not getting picked up by Google’s bots (i.e. “no-indexing” issues). This can happen due to badly-configured robots.txt files, for instance.
Just make sure you verify your GSC property, to make sure it works.
Set up a strong URL structure
Suppose you publish a blog post on your website to boost your financial SEO. What does the website address look like?
In 2022, it is a good idea to avoid letting these “URLs” getting too long. Whilst long URLs apparently does not seem to affect your SEO, it can affect the appearance of search snippets.
The really crucial thing, however, is to aim to have your target keyword in the URLs.
For instance, you may want to avoid having publishing date information in your URL (this clutters things and does not really help your SEO). Also, try to include your blog titles – or shortened versions – in the URLs rather than just using a “blog number”.
Just bear in mind that URLs are permanent. If you change one, then the SEO attached to that URL disappears. So, if you have a blog post that is currently bringing in a lot of organic traffic, be very wary of changing the link structure.
Build a keyword map
Which keywords do your want your financial website to rank for in your SEO strategy?
Here, it’s a good idea to write a list and consider how these could be “built into” the website design and navigation. For instance, if your main keyword is “financial planner Reading”, which page on your website is best dedicated to this keyword (and its relatives)?
Perhaps it is your homepage. Or, maybe another “core” page like your About Us page.
Make sure you research your target keywords properly. You could start by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and imagine what they might search for in Google. However, there are also tools you can use to discern what people are looking for.
The Google Ads “Keyword Planner” is a good option here. There are also other useful third party apps like Ahrefs and Semrush, although these come with a fairly high price tag for most locally-based financial firms (e.g. IFAs).
It may be that certain keywords are best placed within your blog rather than the core website architecture – e.g. answering questions on “hot topics” pertaining to your service. Others might be more appropriately positioned as “landing pages”.
Create a content calendar
Even with all of these great foundations in place, your financial SEO is going to suffer without a regular stream of great content.
To help ensure your website has the best chance of growing its search engine presence, consider writing a content calendar for the upcoming months (or year). For instance, perhaps you can publish one blog per week on a relevant topic – which also targets one of your keywords. Over time, this can help increase your organic traffic by helping your website appear in a wider range of relevant search engine results.
Planning your content ahead of time can help with managing the work involved with writing, reviewing and optimising your content for Google Search. It also helps you focus on the most important keywords first (e.g. less competitive keywords with higher user intent, as well as higher search volume).